NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Police have located an SUV that was stolen with kids still inside Wednesday afternoon.
The incident happened around 5:30 p.m. at Roberto Clemente School in New Haven.
Lieutenant Elliot Rosa of New Haven Police told News 8 that the mother left two children — a 9-month-old girl and her 5-year-old brother — in the car in the parking lot to go into the school to get a third child from the after school program.
She came out of the school to find her car with her young children gone.
WEB EXTRA: Full interview with Lt. Elliot Rosa of New Haven Police
At 6:15 p.m. it was confirmed that the children had been found by good Samaritan Kasandra Monteiro.
Monterio, who lives in Naugatuck but works in New Haven, said she usually takes Exit 6 on I-91, but took Exit 8 on Wednesday because of traffic.
She said she saw the two children on the side of the road in the dark and knew she needed to stop.
“I got out of the car and then went straight to them,” she said. “I was with my phone ready calling 911 saying that there’s two kids on the side [of the road] and asking them if they’re okay and then brought them into the car.”
She said the 9-month-old was still in her car seat and was being guarded by her big brother.
“He looked like a brave little boy,” Monteiro said. “He was holding on to his sister like he was protecting her.”
Monteiro said she’s thankful for taking the wrong exit.
“There’s a reason why I had to get off at the wrong exit … I guess God put me on this road for a reason.”
As of Thursday afternoon, police said they located the SUV and arrested two suspects – an 18-year-old and a 14-year-old – in connection with the theft.
The children were taken to the hospital for evaluation but are said to be okay.
WEB EXTRA: The children were reunited with their mother about an hour after the ordeal
New Haven police and the Department of Children and Families are investigating.